winterwheat1.jpgThe Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made has ruled out chances of a drought this year, saying although the rains came late, the country’s crop situation is satisfactory.

The latest crop situation report for the 2011-12 season shows that farmers have so far achieved 96% as compared to last year’s hectarage.

Close to 1 million hectares have been put under maize so far.

Dr Made, who expressed satisfaction with the overall crop situation which saw such cash crops as cotton and soya beans surpassing last year’s figures, said it will be too early to declare a drought as prospects of achieving good yields are high.

The crop situation report shows that cotton recorded the highest improvement with over 300 000 hectares having been planted as compared to 180 000 last year.

Tobacco hectarage went down from last year’s 73 000 to 57 000 hectares.

In a positive move for food security, peri-urban farmers managed to double their hectarage from last year’s figures.